Washington: President Donald Trump has announced a deal with Canada and Mexico that would scrap “major tariffs,” ending a simmering trade dispute that began when the president imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in the name of national security.
Trump addressed the agreement while speaking before The National Association of Realtors. He urged Congress to approve a new trade pact between the three nations to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump did not mention the tariffs he imposed last year on steel and aluminum imports. But he said “we’ll be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs, or major tariffs.”
While the tariffs helped many U.S. steel and aluminum makers, the retaliatory tariffs hurt other sectors of the U.S. economy, such as agriculture.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada stayed strong in asking for a full lift of the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Trudeau said at a steel facility in Hamilton, Ontario, that now that there is a full lift of those tariffs Canada is going to work with the United States on ratification of the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
President Donald Trump used a national security justification last year to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. One of the motivations was to pressure Canada and Mexico into agreeing to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Canadians and Mexicans did go along with a revamped regional trade deal that was to Trump’s liking. But the administration refused to lift the taxes on the metals imports anyway.
Trudeau says the Trump administration’s national security justification didn’t make sense and it was hurting workers and consumers in Canada and the United States.
President Donald Trump last year slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from China and a number of other nations, including Canada, invoking a rarely used provision of a 1962 law to claim that the foreign metals posed a threat to U.S. national security.
The administration retained the tariffs on Canada and Mexico even after the two countries agreed to Trump’s demands to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994. Removal of those tariffs on Canada has become a key demand for the administration to win support of the reworked trade agreement.